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04-23-08 - Giving - 2 Corinthians 9.6-7 - NSB

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2 Corinthians 9:6-7

PFAY #1, p. 205, All About Christian Giving – NTSK – TBKC – Bible Reader’s Companion -

We now come to the part of the Covenant that speaks of giving to the support of our church.

            Christian giving -

Tonight I want to talk to you about giving because we are at a place where we have an opportunity to be generous in our giving.

            #1 – There is work that needs to be done around the church.

We need carpenters and painters and electricians, and laborers and people to carry water and whatever you do, we need your help in the month of May as we spruce the church up.

If it is you attitude that it is not your job then please stay home.

#2 – On the first Sunday in June we are going to be taking up an offering that has a goal of $52,000 dollars.  I want you to begin to pray now as to how much you can give.  Our goal is to get out from under the debt that we have on the UB.

With your permission, tonight we will talk about Christian giving.

INTRODUCTION

What is one of the complaints that we often hear people make against the church?

It is that the church is too interested in money.

            There may be some churches where that is true but I do not think that is the rule.

I sometimes wonder what the people who make that charge thinks the church runs on.

            We do not live in the Garden in Eden

            Our missionaries are not fed manna from heaven.

            Our preachers are not fed by ravens.

            We do not open the mouths of fishes and find coins there.

            We do not strike rocks and have water pour forth.

But, for some reason…

Christian giving has gotten a bad rap – to the point that some people seem afraid to talk about it from the pulpit.

Maybe that is because some preachers have taken an unbiblical approach to their presentation of what it is to be.

Some folks use gimmicks or emotions to cause people to give.

                        “Send me $50 and I will send you a blessing.”

                        Some pastors put too little emphasis on giving in the church.

                        Some pastors put too much emphasis on giving.

Each of those is a misrepresentation of biblical giving.

We use money to carry out the ministries of the church and we talk about money as a church should because -

            God in His Word talks about money.

Furthermore…

A church that never preaches or teaches what the Bible says about giving is a church that is not teaching the full counsel of God.

The biblical truth is that…

There is a giving that is associated with being a Christian.

There is a giving that is associated with being a Christian.

There is a giving that is associated with being a Christian.

Turn if you will to 2 Corinthians 9:6 and let’s talk a little bit about Christian giving.

[STAND – READ – PRAY]

In chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians we see a great teaching on what NT Christian giving is.

What is going on in these chapters is that there was a need in the church at Jerusalem.  The Corinthians offered to send money to help them and that offer encouraged others to give.  Specifically, Paul mentions the Macedonians as a group that was encouraged to give.   Probably the ones who were the least able to give were the ones who gave the most.  The Macedonians were a church that was having problems and they were a church that was poor yet the Bible says that there was something in the people in that church that caused them to be filled with a joy that overflowed into generosity.  They did not have a lot of money but because of what was in them that was overflowing, they had begged to have a part in the giving.  What was it that caused so much joy in them?  In chapter 8, verse 5 Paul says that the first thing that they had done was to give themselves to the Lord.

So…

The first principle of NT giving is that we are to give of our self.

            God does not want your money – God wants you.

The staff had a magazine in the office yesterday and there was an article there about a popular young preacher.  One of his comments regarding money went like this:

“God doesn’t need your money.  He’s bigger than you, and if he wanted your money then he would beat you up, pick your pocket and take your money.”

            God does not want your money – God wants you.

The first principle of NT giving is that we give of ourselves.  A church where all of the people have given all of themselves to God is going to be a church that never has to worry about how much the people give.

And that includes not only money but giving of our time and our talents and our skills.  There is nothing that we have that will not be dedicated to the service of the Lord if we have given all of ourselves to the Lord.

Point is…

When you give yourself to God then your monetary giving to God is not going to be an issue.

The second principle of Christian giving we see here is that we are to remember the example of Christ.

In verse 9 of chapter eight, as Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to give, he points to the example of Christ.

He gave everything.

There is a biblical truth that you have heard a lot of preachers say and that is that you cannot out give God.

            Malachi 3:10 says

Malachi 3:10 (KJV)
10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

“I give and give and give to that church and I never get anything out of it.”

            Remember the cross.

                        You cannot out give God.

And then not only does Paul present us with the example of Christ but he presents to us the example of the Macedonian church.

And I especially want you to notice this.

            I want you to understand what is going on here at the church at Macedonia.

                        A church was going through some trials.

Not sure what those trials were.  Maybe there were some changes going on in the church that were causing some people some anxiety.

Maybe they were between pastors.

                        It was a church that was not financially busting at the seams.

Maybe they were in the black some months and in the red some months.

Are you with me?

But, it was a church that because of the joy that was in the people, they wanted to give.

This church was not shining less because of the situation that they found themselves in but as a matter of fact because of what was going on at the church their giving stood out all the more.

Paul indicates that the joy of Christ in your life should be seen in an overflowing of generosity in your life.

Now, in contrast to the example of Christ and the example of the Macedonians, Paul also gives the example of the church at Corinth.

We know that it was not a perfect church but Paul says that they excelled in several areas.  “…7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us*—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving…”[1]

What does that tell you?

Just because a church excels in a lot of areas does not mean that they are excelling in the grace of giving.

And just because I give does not mean that I give generously.

And that is what Paul is encouraging the church at Corinth to be.

            And he encourages them to give generously.

Why should we or the Corinthians given generously?

            I think this is a fair question.

Paul gives a couple of reasons and almost everyone here is familiar with the first one that he gives in 9:6

The more that you sow, the more that you can expect to reap.

The bigger the investment the greater the return (9:6).

Every farmer understands that this is true, even in nature.

The truth is that we sow the money of this world seeking a spiritual return.

When my check for Annie Armstrong leaves my hand that is the last time that I see that money.  I do not get a specific report back on specifically what my dollar accomplished.

How would you like to go to your mailbox and receive a report back from every dollar you spent?

            “What came in the mail today?”

A beautiful card from Miller Brewing, thanking us for the $100 we gave last month.

Honey, it’s the Tennessee Lottery, they wrote to thank you for the $20 a week that they are getting.

Here is a wonderful little note from Pay Per View thanking us for the donation.

Anything there from the church?  Yeah, they said they missed us.

We do not get a report back from every dollar but…

I give to Annie Armstrong in the hope that God will bless that offering and that it will wind up helping some missionary to lead some little dirty faced boy or girl to Jesus.

Sow big – Reap big.

Did you know that one church consultant says that

            15% give 85% of the monies.

            1/3 giving is typical.

Number next -

The other reason that we or the Corinthians should give generously is that God loves generosity.

Generosity -

Does that mean that God loves a large amount?  Maybe but maybe not.

The fact is that someone can give a lot yet not be generous while another person can give a little (two mites for example) and yet be a VERY generous person.

So…

What size gift is God looking for from you?

            Is He looking for Nothing?  Nope

            Something?  Certainly

10%?  Maybe

            Less?  Possibly

            More?  Probably

How much He is looking for from you leads us to the next principle of Christian giving:

Give as you are able.

What He tells us in these two chapters is that we are to give out of what we have and not out of what we do not have.

Whatever amount you give, you can know that you cannot out give God.

                        He supplies all that we need and more

                        He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

                        All that is in heaven and earth belong to Him.

                        Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool

All things come from God.

1 Chr. 29:14

There is a great return on the investments we make in our Christian giving.

Some folks give when they feel like the preaching has been good.

Some folks give for show

That is what the Pharisees did, by the way.

Some people only give when they sense that the need is great –

That tends to drive the church to a crisis management style of financial stewardship.

Whereby people have not been giving regularly so now we have a crisis that results in a plea for, “Everyone to please give NOW.”

There are great spiritual returns on Christian giving.

            There are blessings for the one who gives. (Mal 3:10)

There are blessings for the ones who are on the receiving end of the ministries that are supported by our giving..

Christian giving stimulates prayer as the ones who receive the effects of the money thank God for His blessings that have come to them.

Jesus has built His church on people and we give our monies to support those who are in the church and to reach those who are not yet in the church.

And maybe the greatest return of all is that when we give, we glorify God.

Look at 9:13

On last Wednesday, we talked about this church being a place of expectation.

            We should give with expectation.

The first step in you giving out of generosity is that you give all of yourself to God.

When that happens then the church is spruced up and the debt is retired and the missionaries are supported and the Lord is glorified.

Here is the last point -

We are not selling anything -

You cannot buy your way into heaven.

            The price for you to enter into heaven has been paid by Jesus.

But …

Church, if we sow small, we are going to reap small.

            If we sow large then we are going to reap large.


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* Some manuscripts read your love for us.

[1]Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible : New Living Translation., "Text Edition"--Spine., 2nd ed. (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2004), 2 Co 8:6-7.

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